Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Letter #48 - October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

          Hey Everyone,
          Another week down here on my side of the world.  Crazy sometimes to think that you all really are on the other side of the world!!  This week was slow for a lot of reasons, the main one being it was a FETCHING FURNACE!!!!!!!!!  Summer came on this week and it came on hard!! Wednesday we had divisions and it got up to 110 degrees.  I was dying!!! We stopped every hour, sat in the shade and chugged a liter of water.  It was amazing how fast the heat came on.  Needless to say the heat has made working a little less comfortable, but not less satisfying.  We have continued to have awesome lessons with Lilian and Ivan and the spirit is always unreal!!  This week we stopped by to explain more in depth the Plan of Salvation because we didn't have an opportunity to do it last week.  We wanted to wait until Lilian AND Ivan were both there to listen.  We got there and just kind of casually started to talk.  After like 15 minutes,  Lilian went inside and came out with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told us she was anxious to  talk about it.  We were both immediately excited.  We began to explain in depth the Plan that God has for each of us and they stopped us every so often to ask questions and have us explain certain parts again.  The lesson went so well that when I felt prompted to invite them to be baptized I was almost a little afraid because I didn't want to scare them away.  Elder Hawk had the same impression and he followed it. They sat and listened to Elder Hawk and when he asked them if they would be baptized, Ivan said yes, but Lilian started talking about how her catholic family wouldn't like it if they got baptized.  We asked her if she believed God wanted her to be baptized and she said she could feel it!!! (At this point I was doing a little TOUCHDOWN dance in my head!!)  Then we decided to end with a prayer which Lilian offered.  She prayed that we would be patient with them as they make this decision.  Then she prayed that her family would be okay with their decision.  It was very obvious that they had already recognized that Baptism is something that is super important.  I KNOW they will be baptized.  I wont be here to see it but their progress is incredible!!  Other big news, this morning we received the transfer list.  After 4 incredibly fast months in Ita Paso, I am moving on!!  I have received a new assignment as the new Zone leader of a zone called La Paloma.  Just so you know, La Paloma is so far from everything else that people joke it is part of a different mission.  it’s about a 2 day trip by bus to get there from my current area.  It’s like the Yuma, Arizona of the mission.  My new companion is Elder Worthington!!! Elder Merrill trained him and I together in Villa Cabello almost 1 year ago!! Its going to be fun!! My new area is called Saltos de Guaira. It is right on the border of Brazil so there is a TON of Portugese!!  Looks like the Lord really wants me to grow to appreciate the gift of tongues!!  I'm super excited for new experiences and challenges this change will bring!!

           Love you all!!! Stay strong and "True to the truth for which martyrs have perished" ;)
           Elder Ollerton

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter #47 - October 6, 2014

Hey Guys,
This week was amazing!! Ya ok a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was General Conference and the spirit about lifted me off the ground, but still what a week!!!  We worked super hard this week because we knew that we weren't going to work basically at all when the weekend came!! We gave it anything we had and ended up with 30 lessons in 3 days!! We received so much help from the Lord this week!!  We had more amazing lessons with Romina who is now on page 50 of the Book of Mormon.  She even marks scriptures she likes or underlines words she doesn't understand, its AWESOME!!  We were praying super hard to be able to have a good week so that the spirit could carry us strong into Conference and boy was that prayer answered!!!  Conference was something that I have never anticipated more!!  Something about being on the mission has made simple truths so much more meaningful to me, like the fact that we have a living Prophet today.  We get the chance to listen to a man that talks with God and Jesus Christ.  As M. Russell Ballard stated, The leaders of the church will not, and cannot lead us astray.  As I sat and listened to these men, I wondered if the investigators or even members really understood what it means to have a living Prophet.  Then it dawned on me.  That's MY job.  As a missionary, it is my job to help others understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and living Prophets are a part of this Gospel.  I left Conference so uplifted and spiritually fed it was amazing!!  This letter isn't very long but i want all of you to know that I have a testimony of this Gospel, and conference was an awesome strengthening force to that testimony.  I encourage each of you to read and reread all of the talks from Conference and apply what we learn.  By doing so i promise you as a set apart representative of Jesus Christ, your testimony and relationship with God the Father and his son Jesus Christ will grow more than you can imagine.  I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from General Conference, "The Lord will never make anything out of us that we do not CHOOSE to become."  I hope and pray that each of us can choose this day to serve the Lord and he will truly help us become who he wants us to be!! (Reading back I think I just gave my own conference talk.) I love you all so much and pray for you always!!!

Stay safe!
Elder Ollerton